Should I ride a camber or rocker snowboard? It is one of the common questions, not only from new riders but still a lot of intermediate riders and even some who call themselves advanced.
Knowing the difference between camber, rocker and flat can help you pick the right board while not knowing leaves you like most beginners. Today we are going to upgrade your snowboard knowledge, educate you on camber vs rocker snowboards and get you on your way to picking out a better snowboard!
Let’s first dive into what is a camber board.
What is a Camber Snowboard?
The most common profile you will see for a snowboard is camber. If you go into a board shop, this is going to be the most popular snowboard style and for good reason. Lay a camber board down flat and you will see an arch in the middle that comes back down on both ends.
You can only really see this little bit of arch when someone isn’t standing on the board. Once someone straps in, a camber snowboard will look flat as any other board. The secret is the center arch which has a lot of pop. Camber boards have always found their home riding all mountains or in the park. Wherever you put them, they can perform.
So who should get a camber snowboard? Camber snowboards are common across all skill levels but it is a great board profile for intermediate to advanced mountain riders.
What is a Rocker Snowboard?
After learning about camber snowboards, think of rocker as the opposite. The tip and tail are raised while the middle slopes down and provides a point for pressure. While camber is an all-around profile, rocker snowboards are made so you down get caught up on boxes, lips and rails. That all sounds like a park board right? You are exactly right.
Another place you will see rocker snowboards is in the powder but more on that in a minute.
Camber vs Rocker Snowboards
Hopefully, now you are starting to see the difference between camber vs rocker snowboards. The key takeaways are that camber has the arch in the middle of the board going upwards for pop while the rocker has the downward pressure in the middle of the board providing playfulness.
A good way to remember this is to flip the “C” of Camber on its side and you will have an arch. Just like camber boards!
Flat Snowboards: What are They?
Just like they sound, flat snowboards are completely flat. It would beg the question of why anyone would want one. You can hold an edge on a flat snowboard like a camber board but it also has some of the butteriness of rockers. Flat boards are best for freestyling. A bit of mountain and a touch of park thrown in.
Is Camber Better Than Rocker?
You can only say camber boards are better than rocker if you are applying them to the correct task. Think of the board as a tool on the mountain. Yes, camber is better than rocker if you are wanting to ride all-mountain but ultimately you’ll find most boards are hybrids.
What is a Hybrid Snowboard?
A hybrid snowboard is a combo like camber-rocker-camber or rocker-camber-rocker. Hybrid snowboards are the most modern snowboard designs. See what the companies are marketing the board towards i.e. park, powder or groomers and you’ll be able to get a good idea of each specific board.
Fun fact: Did you know Tom Sims pioneered the first modern snowboard back in the 1980’s? Snowboards have been improving ever since but the Terry Kidwell 1650 snowboard was one of the first boards with reverse camber.
Are Rocker Snowboards Good for Beginners?
Rocker snowboards aren’t just good for beginners, they are an excellent choice. How does catching fewer edges sound? A rocker board is the best bet alongside hybrid boards for beginners. Get comfortable with a rocker board and you will be able to make a quick transition to camber when the time comes.
Is Camber Or Rocker Better for Park
Another common question as snowboarders progress is if camber or rocker boards are better for terrain parks. Simply, rocker boards are the best for the park and camber is for carving. “C” for carving.
Rocker boards are designed to be able to hit features and not catch an edge as easily as a camber board.
Is Rocker or Camber Better for Powder
If you want a real powder pusher as we say then lean for a camber board with a rocker tip. It will feel like a surfboard of the snow. Most online shops will let you sort by powder boards. You’ll notice that a good majority of them feature the camber/rocker combo.
So with that being said, the best snowboard for powder will be a mix between camber and rocker.
Snowboard Camber vs Rocker vs Flat
By now you should start to see which snowboard is best for which situation you will be riding. To make it a little easier, here is a quick table that outlines the snowboard profiles as well.
Final Thoughts – So Which Board Should You Ride? Rocker Or Camber
Don’t just limit yourself to rocker or camber. Explore the hybrid and flat snowboards as well. The best thing you can do aside from renting is to demo some boards at your local ski resort. Alternatively, if your boot size is comparable, ride some of your friend’s boards to get a feel for a different board.
So while we can’t pick camber or rocker for you, hopefully it left you more educated to make the right decision when the time comes to choosing a snowboard.